Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beginning to Enjoy Autumn

I'm working on my attitude about autumn - bundling up and taking the dogs for walks to see the fall colors in our neighborhood; enjoying my fireplaces; drinking copious amounts of hot tea; and lighting candles against the darkness. The fresh autumn air does smell really good, and I notice I have time to read more books now that I'm not out and about on light-filled summery evenings.


  • Do you need to light a fire under someone in your household to rake leaves in your yard? I'll be raking leaves today after we get back from the dog park. Right now there is just a loose covering of them on the lawn. I don't want it to get worse - wet, muddy leaves are messier and heavier to lift into my yard waste bin. Though it's quite cold today, the surprising amount of sunshine we have will make this chore cheerier. I won't be surprised if my retired next door neighbor hears me out raking and comes out to rake his lawn too so we can chat while we work.
  • Just a thought - If you plan to have a holiday party for friends or your co-workers, it's time to start looking at dates. Announce your party as soon as possible. This year December has just four Fridays and four Saturdays available. People's social schedules can fill up quite quickly.
  • Speaking of looking ahead at the holidays, do you have your Thanksgiving travel plans set, or have you invited people to your home yet?
  • I'm a big believer in staying informed. Have you watched your local evening news lately? Read a newspaper (whether the paper version or online) and watched a national news program in the last week or two? Lately I've been DVRing the news so I can skip over boring things I don't care about, like the sports coverage.
  • Take a quick peek in your cupboard. How are you doing with your supply of soups, chilis, hot cereals, hot teas, hot cocoa, spiced apple cider mix?
  • Maintenance cleaning: Pick a floor, whether it be bathroom, kitchen or laundry room, and mop it if needed. I have a front hallway with muddy dog prints and a bathroom with spilled kitty litter I need to attend to today!


Oslo Throw, at Z Gallerie

I cleaned my upstairs living room yesterday after the carpet cleaner left and the carpet dried. So tonight after dinner I'll work on the downstairs Family Room. This is a project I can do while enjoying the Home for the Holidays Viewing Party at Lovely Living University.

This is currently the dustiest, dirtiest, muddiest room in my house. That's because it's the room the dogs spend most of their time in when they're not outside. I live in Seattle, so as you can imagine, several times a day my dogs come running in from the rain with muddy paws. The door is opened frequently, so dust just wafts in and coats everything.

I'll begin by sweeping the room to get the big clumps of hair up so the vacuum doesn't have to. Next, I need to move all the furniture and vacuum under it. I can't move my television (and the heavy table it stands on) by myself, so I'll try to do my vacuuming under them with the vacuum attachments.

The TV and the TV stand need to be dusted; my fluffy throws laundered; velvet curtains Febrezed; end table, bar and bookcase dusted. I'll put away a Halloween candle I found still displaying itself on the mantel. I'll dust the few picture frames and knicknacks I have on my end table and mantel. Let's not forget to dust our baseboards, too!

Heirloom Pumpkin Candle, from Illume

My fireplace mantel is currently cluttered with empty candle holders and used matches from the candles I've been burning recently. I'll reset the mantel with two fall-scented candles and scrub down the bricks.

My sliding glass patio door needs to have fingerprints, paw prints and dog nose prints washed off of it. It will only take a moment to wipe down the two light switches in this room, which have collected fingerprints on and around them. I'll fluff the couch pillows (and probably zap them with Febreze too), and vacuum the upholstered couches to get pet hair off them.

I use a red melamine tray in place of a coffee table down here. That needs to be wiped clean and have drinking glasses removed from it. My remotes and the laptop I use in this room should probably be wiped down and sanitized, too.

Tonight when I'm folding laundry and watching "Home for the Holidays," I'll be doing it in a clean, nice smelling, orderly family room. If I have extra time, I'll use it to realphabetize my DVDs.

Does your family room need some attention tonight?


"Baking and making with my family of 7." Corrie blogs from her home in Sydney about knitting, sewing, quilting, crafting, baking, and renovating. Lately she's blogging about Christmas cookie truffles, rum balls, the things she's hoping to craft for Christmas gifts, and a super easy girls skirt she sewed recently. I think you'll enjoy her energy and enthusiasm!

LOVELY FOOD: Krusteaz' New Meyer Lemon Products

To me, anything flavored with lemon doesn't feel very autumn or winter seasonal. I like to eat lemon things in the spring and summer. But apparently other people disagree, and come out with Meyer lemon products for the holidays. Still, I love baked goods mixes very much, and especially like Krusteaz products, so I was unable to pass these new products up at the store when I saw them yesterday. My sister even mentioned she is craving pound cake and gave me permission to sabotage her diet by baking her one this weekend!

Meyer Lemon Cookie Mix, at Krusteaz

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake Mix, at Krusteaz

LOVELY HOME: Tea Kettle Oil Warmer

Sometimes the little things in life can bring so much joy. Yes, it's materialistic of me to be so very excited about this recent purchase I treated myself to. I was so delighted to see this. I love that the little holder for the tea light is shaped like a pan! I use an oil warmer and tea light almost every day to help bring pleasant scents to my dog-smelly home. My current oil warmer is a perfectly lovely brown-and-gold mosaic glass warmer. It, however, looks out of place in my kitchen, with my Christmas decor, and with my spring and summer decor color schemes. I'm planning to keep and use this adorable oven-shaped oil warmer in my kitchen year-round. I like to have a fragrance besides the smell of food cooking, warming my kitchen while I work.

Stove-Shaped Tea Kettle Oil Warmer, on Amazon

LOVELY MUSIC: Stevie Nicks' New Album

Any Stevie Nicks fans here besides me? I am treating myself to her new album, "24 Karat Gold." This is a "Songs from the Vault" album featuring 14 never-before-released songs. You can listen to the whole album here on YouTube but I prefer to buy it properly and own it. You can also watch her official videos for the new album, including "Lady" at the official Stevie Nicks YouTube channel.

24 Karat Gold, on Amazon


Apple-Cheddar Scones with Sage (Not Derby Pie)

A Guide to the Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner (Epicurious)

Rigatoni all' Amatriciana (The Literate Chef)

Spicy Carrot Harissa Hummus (CHOW)

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